NYC FC - circular badge

PHOTO: New York City FC announce final badge designs, which do you like best?


With New York City Football Club readying themselves to enter Major League Soccer in 2015, the club have now narrowed their search for a new club badge down to two selections.

And NYC FC (still not sure if that catchy moniker will stick…) have given you the chance to vote on which badge they will call their own when the club begins play in the Big Apple in less than 12 months.

Voting runs from today until Thursday March 13 and the winner will be announced on March 20. Both designs come from designer Rafael Esquer and have been chosen by NYC FC after an extensive search for the right team logo.

The first design on the right is my personal favorite with the rounded outline inspired by the old NYC subway token and the initials of NYC placed on top of each other, it resembles a similar design to the logo of the New York Yankees and New York Mets. It is simple, fresh and just seems like a badge that can be plastered across baseball caps, shirts and apparel across the globe to become instantly recognizable.

Of course the alternative, pictured on the left, isn’t entirely different but I feel like the fancy pants outline of the crest is just a little too over the top and there are too many colors going on. The shield design is inspired by world soccer but also the “historic shield of the official Seal of New York City – a mark that signifies the pioneering spirit of the early settlers,” according to the release from NYC FC. I’m still sticking with first option, keep it simple, folks. That’s my two cents on this, anyway.

The shield look “signifies the pioneering spirit of the early settlers” in NYC.

Both are strong badges and great designs.

In a unique and pretty cool twist, you have your chance to vote for whatever badge you prefer, with fans of other MLS teams (ahem, New York Red Bulls) surely set to vote for the most unpopular option to try and scupper NYC FC’s look. Or perhaps not… We shall see.

Claudio Reyna, Sporting Director of New York City FC, is excited to launch the vote and give the people of NYC the chance to select a key component of the club’s identity.

“This badge is to be the symbol of our Club, a symbol of our players and we hope in time, a symbol of this City.  That is why we decided to give our fans the power to take part in such a fundamental way,” Reyna said. “Thanks to the work of Rafael Esquer we feel that we have two designs that truly represent our Club and our City, and we’re excited to see which badge they choose.”

Let us know which badge you prefer in the comments section below. Get voting.

“Overweight” Costa comes to Mourinho’s defense

Diego Costa, Chelsea FC
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Diego Costa says he and his Chelsea teammates are to blame for Chelsea’s horrid start to the 2015-16 Premier League season.

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Speaking Thursday, during a bit of downtime over the current international break (Costa was left out of Vicente del Bosque’s squad for Spain’s final two EURO 2016 qualifiers this week), Costa placed the majority of blame at the feet of the entire team, but went on to most harshly critique himself for coming into the season unfocused and “overweight.”

Costa, on his lack of fitness and form to begin the season — quotes from the Guardian:

“We know we’re not in the form we were supposed to be at the beginning of the season. We need to blame the players because we came back from holiday very confident, thinking we could go back into how it was last season, and then realized the team was already in a bad situation.

“I’m going to be very honest: maybe a few weeks ago, five or six weeks ago, I was not on top of my game. At least physically. We talk within the players and we know that, maybe at the beginning, we were not 100 percent as we were supposed to be when we got here. I got injured at the end of last season and then I went on holiday. Maybe I got out of my diet and, when I came back, I was not the way I was supposed to be. I was a little bit overweight. That affected my game. You can be selfish and blame it on the manager but I’m not going to do that. I’m responsible 100%, and so are the other guys.

Given that Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said on Thursday he doesn’t quite know what’s wrong with the defending Premier League champions, hearing someone — anyone — speak up and explain the club’s worst start to a season in 37 years will surely be a welcome sound to any Blues supporter’s ears.

[ MORE: Liverpool appoint Klopp as manager | Allardyce to Sunderland? ]

Costa, who is eligible to return from suspension next weekend when Aston Villa visit Stamford Bridge, has scored just one goal in league play this season (six appearances) after scoring 20 in 26 games last season.

Sam Allardyce to open talks with Sunderland

Sam Allardyce, West Ham United FC
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Now that Liverpool have selected and named their new manager, it appears Sunderland are finally ready to move forward with their own managerial search. (That’s clearly a joke, because it implies Liverpool and Sunderland ever duke it out for the same managerial candidate.)

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Anyway, the Black Cats will have to hire someone to replace the recently-departed Dick Advocaat at some point. We all knew that, despite the fact he’s probably earned a shot at that level, Bob Bradley was never really going to be considered for the job. With that in mind, if you’re not going to endear yourself to the entire United States of America with this hire, you might as well go for the best unemployed manager who’ll actually consider your approach.

That’s what Sunderland chairman Ellis Short appears to have done, as it was reported Thursday that despite an initial reluctance from Sam Allardyce — let’s be honest, he actually was holding out hope for the Liverpool job — the 60-year-old most recently in charge of West Ham United was willing and ready to enter into negotiations with the northeastern club.

One of the major sticking points during Sunderland’s courting of Allardyce is expected to be his demand for autonomy in the transfer market as well as a sizable transfer budget to sign his own players during the January window.

[ MORE: Advocaat: Sunderland squad too thin, chairman to blame ]

Allardyce seems like the no. 1 guy you’d like to bring in to steady a capsized ship — cough Sunderland cough — in any situation. Not only does he have a successful track record in the Premier League, but he’s the kind of no-nonsense leader a club like Sunderland so desperately needs as they find themselves in yet another relegation battle just eight games into the new season.

Short hopes to have Allardyce signed, sealed and delivered when the Premier League returns to action next weekend. In that event, Allardyce’s first game in charge of Sunderland would be a trip to West Bromwich Albion. His first home fixture? Home to Tyne-Wear derby rivals Newcastle United, a club whose boisterous fanbase still holds a great deal of disdain for Big Sam. Sometimes the football gods really are looking out for us.